Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
India's 21-day lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has claimed its first life.
Over the past few days, lakhs of migrant workers across India have walked several kilometers to return home.
On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown that came into effect hours after the announcement.
Due to the lockdown, several workers and daily wage laborers were put out of work.
Wary of the financial strain, many chose to return home.
However, since all transport was shut down amid the lockdown, they decided to complete their journeys on foot.
Ranveer Singh used to work as a delivery agent for a restaurant in Delhi.
With the lockdown rendering him workless, Singh decided to return to his home in Badfara village of Ambah police jurisdiction in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, The Times of India reported.
After walking around 200km, he collapsed near the Kailash mod of National Highway-2 in Agra on Saturday and died.
Station House Officer Arvind Kumar of Sikandra (Agra) told TOI, "The victim complained about chest pain and called his brother-in-law Arvind Singh over the phone to share his health condition. At around 6.30 pm, the victim succumbed."
IPS Saurabh Dixit added, "The autopsy revealed heart attack as the cause of death," adding that exhaustion may have triggered a pre-existing heart condition.
The victim's younger brother Sonu Singh told TOI that Singh had left from Delhi at 3 am on Thursday morning. Singh is survived by his three children. Sonu said, "We are poor farmers. We don't know how his children would survive without their father's earnings."
The Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments said they had arranged 1,000 and 200 buses respectively to ferry the workers to their homes.
On Saturday, the issue made national headlines as thousands crowded inter-state bus stations and left for homes crammed in buses, as all social distancing protocols were disregarded.
In their native states of UP and Bihar, the workers will face a 14-day quarantine.
On Saturday, the Centre asked states and Union Territories to arrange temporary accommodation for the workers in relief camps and prevent them from migrating.
The Centre reiterated its directive on Sunday.
Meanwhile, many have criticized the government for poorly implementing the lockdown, leading to chaotic scenes. The Centre on Saturday maintained that its response was "pre-emptive, pro-active and graded."
Love India news?
Subscribe to stay updated.